The Grotto’s Terms of Association
The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto is a community of working writers and narrative artists who connect in physical and virtual space, pooling our talents to support each other, mentor and teach others, and engage the wider world. The Grotto fosters a literary culture that is generous in spirit and deeply inclusive, elevating writers of all backgrounds.
The Grotto will expand the audience for meaningful storytelling—from poetry to journalism—and amplify seldom-heard voices. Our support for daring work will embolden and inspire those within our community and beyond.
In applying for membership here, you agree to abide by the following:
1.) Any assignment of a workspace for dedicated use is not a formal sublease of real estate, but a beneficial aspect of your affiliation with this association. This must be clearly understood: while the term “rent” is sometimes informally used to designate monthly charges for access to an assigned workspace, no tenancy relationship is created or implied. If you are assigned a workspace, you agree that at the end of the assignment you will relinquish the space in vacant condition, with no items left in the space or in common areas. You accept the responsibility of removing every item you bring into the Grotto.
2.) Workspaces are for the creation of narrative arts projects. If a space is being used substantively for other purposes–or consistently underutilized by an absentee member–we reserve the right to rescind access and assign the space to another member. If you find yourself unable to put a workspace to its intended use, we encourage you to work with us to find an arrangement more amenable to your current needs. Relinquishing a workspace does not affect your core membership within the Grotto.
3.) Since we need to keep our environment conducive to creativity and productivity, we can’t tolerate consistently disruptive behavior. And because our community exists to support each other, we cannot ignore or condone self-destructive behavior either, such as alcohol abuse or drug abuse. Discrimination and/or harassment based on race, gender, or sexual orientation are absolutely not tolerated. Pets or other animals are not allowed in our lease.
4.) Maintaining office security is paramount at the Grotto. Members are expected to lock their offices in the evenings, close their doors during the day when not in their office, double lock the front door after 5 pm in the evening, and close any stairwell doors that are ajar. When greeting any visitor at the front door, you must introduce yourself, verify who they are here to see, and escort the visitor to that member in person. If that Grotto member is not here, the visitor must wait outside the Grotto facility, by the elevator or downstairs – visitors are not allowed to wait in our front hallways.
5.) Membership, when extended to you, is offered on a probationary basis for a period of one year after acceptance. After that time period, you are considered a continuing member unless either you or Grotto management (i.e., Grotto Partners LLC) inform the other party of a change in status. Neither party needs to formally state reasons for discontinuance. In the case of cancelling your membership, annual dues paid for the calendar year of your notice will not be returned, either in full or on a pro rata basis.
6.) Members who rent office space at the Grotto agree to a one-year commitment on that space, which is renewed each January for another year. Members who choose to leave prior to the end of their term are responsible for continuing to pay rent on their space until the end of the current 12-month period or a replacement renter is found, whichever occurs first. The language in this clause supersedes the at-will provisions in clause 5 as to the renter only. Grotto leadership reserves the right to discontinue the officeholder’s membership and cancel office space rental at its sole discretion.
7.) The liability of our organization’s leaseholding entity (Grotto Partners LLC) is limited. The precise language for this is as follows: Under these Terms of Association, Grotto members and fellows (collectively “Members”) agree to defend, indemnify and hold leaseholders harmless from any and all liability, claims, loss, property damage or expenses, arising by reason of any injury, death, ongoing disability, or damage sustained by any Member, other person, or to the property of any person, in or on the property during the term of this agreement, including Member, additional invitees or visitors of Member, where such injury, death, ongoing disability, or damage is not caused by negligence on the part of leaseholders.